NASA’s lunar probe found the crash site of the HAKUTO-R lander

NASA’s lunar probe found the crash site of the HAKUTO-R lander
NASA’s lunar probe found the crash site of the HAKUTO-R lander

On April 25, the Japanese company ispace attempted to land the first private company with a spacecraft on the moon. Unfortunately, she lost contact with it after it began to approach the lunar surface. The last piece of information the ground team noted was an increased speed. Based on this, they concluded that the lander had crashed on the moon and the two small rovers it was carrying had not even been launched. The probe fulfilled its individual goals throughout the flight, and there was no indication that the last step – i.e. landing on the surface of the moon – would fail.

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The HAKUTO-R mission did not land on the moon, the center lost contact

NASA used the LRO (Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter) probe to take a total of 10 images of the place where the lander was supposed to land. The photos covered an area of ​​40 by 45 km, and the science team then compared previous images with current ones to find the impact site. Since the probe crashed on the moon, it was likely that it would not stay in one piece. The comparison found at least four pieces of debris that were noticeable in the images. NASA said it will continue to analyze the area as LRO will be able to image the site from different angles.

The mission was largely successful

Although the probe failed to land on the lunar surface, ispace considers the mission a success. The mission was supposed to conquer a total of 10 milestones, of which it managed 8. The last ones were the landing on the moon and putting it into an active state. But the company has obtained valuable data that it can use in other missions to the moon, which are already planned.

The company ispace is not the only one that lost the opportunity to study the surface of the moon. Inside the lander were two rovers, one belonging to JAXA (Japan Space Agency) and the other developed at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In addition, the lander also carried a CubeSat from NASA, which was supposed to look for water ice on the Moon.

The article is in Czech

Tags: NASAs lunar probe crash site HAKUTOR lander


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